An analysis of the determinants of the relationship between brand loyalty and customer satisfaction
The positive influence of emotional and rational types of customer satisfaction on
brand loyalty and repurchases is often taken for granted. This study attempted to
prove whether this relationship really exists in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods
(FMCG) sector and if there are differences in this relationship for individual
brands. In doing so, the development of a research procedure was required.
Firstly, based on literature assessment, a theoretical model on the determinants
of the relationship between brand loyalty and customer satisfaction was
developed to analyse the connection between brand loyalty and customer
satisfaction. An artificial differentiation between more rational cognitive coined
types of satisfaction and emotional coloured types of satisfaction was made.
Conative satisfaction was identified to be just an amalgam between intentional
and behavioural loyalty.
After that, this theoretical model and further theoretical findings were integrated
into a research procedure for analysing the influence of customer satisfaction on
intentional and behavioural brand loyalty. The research procedure developed
consists of qualitative and quantitative steps and it combines established
research methods, such as Critical Incident method with newly developed
methods, such as a new Emotional Card Game and testmarket simulation
methods modified for this research.
In order to test the research procedure, the connection between rational and
emotional types of customer satisfaction and brand loyalty was examined by
carrying out focus group interviews with buyers of selected FMCG brands and by
surveying 530 Swiss brand buyers in face-to-face interviews.
The qualitative results and the quantitative data indicate, that emotional types of
customer satisfaction, rational types of customer satisfaction, overall satisfaction,
category-specific determinants, socio-demographic aspects, retailer-specific
determinants and former behaviour can have an effect on actual behavioural
brand loyalty. Following the data, it is necessary to analyse the individual
connections for each brand separately and to distinguish between the different
concepts of customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Repurchase behaviour
should be represented by repurchase probabilities gained from testmarket